The second developmental trial of the Indian homegrown nuclear missile Agni-IV has been planned for today after its postponement yesterday. The trial was unable to be performed yesterday following heavy rains and certain technical snags in the system. Apparently, India was to test-fire the Agni-IV missile a day after Pakistan successfully test-fired its ‘Babur’ missile earlier this week.
The test on Agni-IV nuclear capable missile was cancelled since the missile system developed technical shortcomings during last minute checkup after the range synchronization, according to media reports. The test of the Agni-IV is planned for today if the faults are rectified and all the arrangements at the test facility in Odisha are ready.
The test of Agni-IV will probably be the final developmental test-flight from the Wheeler Island off the Odisha coast. This will be the third trial of Agni-IV. The first trial was unsuccessful while the second managed to hit the target. Currently, DRDO has completed the range integration and tracking stations are being coordinated for the scheduled lunch today.
The Agni-IV is an indigenously developed 3500-km range surface-to-surface intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM) which can also defend anti-ballistic Defence systems. The A-IV weighs only 17 tonnes which is less compared to the former Agni-III which weighs about 46 tonnes. The two-stage solid propelled missile is 20 meter tall and can carry 1000 kgs warhead with re-entry heat shield.
Agni-IV is highly flexible as it can be launched from both rail and road mobile launchers. Its re-entry vehicle is equipped with heat shield to enable the payload withstand searing temperatures of more than 3,000 degrees Celsius. The missile’s advanced ring-laser gyro-based INS ensures a high degree of accuracy.
Following the test of Agni-IV by DRDO, the Agni-III missile with a range of 3000 kms will be test-fired by the personnel of Strategic Forces Command on September 21. Agni-III missile will be flying for the fourth time and just like Agni-IV, Agni-III will be armed only with conventional explosives. The Agni-III weighs about 46 tonnes and can carry a one tonne missile.
While Agni-IV and Agni-III get ready for trials, the debut launch of ‘Nirbhay’ sub-sonic cruise missile is also expected to take place in October or November. Developed by the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), a DRDO facility in Bangalore Nirbhay subsonic cruise missile is a derivative of Lakshya, a pilotless target aircraft. According to DRDO, Nirbhay’s range is around 1,000 km.